Professional Dancer, Co-Artistic Director of the Chicago Dancing Festival, and Arts Philanthropist.
A native of Oklahoma, Franke began his formal training at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX. Franke was a 1993 Young Arts Finalist in Dance and holds his BFA in Dance from the Julliard School. He has danced with highly regarded dance companies such as Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.
Jay was Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Chicago Dancing Festival, a free annual festival that presents dance in multiple venues to record audiences. He and his partner, David Herro, have funded the “Harris Theater Choreographer in Residence Program,” as well as the “Franke/Herro Design Series” at the Art Institute Chicago. Jay currently serves on the Boards of The Art Institute of Chicago and Youngarts. Diagnosed with Type 1 in 2003, Jay is committed to supporting the Diabetic community through education and philanthropy.